Saturday, June 14, 2008

Sell a cop, win a book

Euro Crime posts this photo and a link to this article from the Daily Mail reporting that the novelist Peter James and his publisher have sponsored a police car. The Hyundai Getz bears the usual insignia of the Brighton and Hove force, along with James' name proclaiming him "No. 1 For Crime Writing."

Will the officers in the car feel any compunction about arresting Mr. James should the need arise? And will this start a trend? How long before a cop slams a perp's head into a police cruiser's roof and says: "This reading of your Miranda rights is brought to you by ... "?

And now, readers, here's your chance to help answer this question. With Peter James' example in mind, give me your ideas for creative crime-fiction sponsorships. What crime writers, books, publishers and characters could sponsor law-enforcement or other services usually considered public? The top five entries will win a book from the Detectives Beyond Borders crime library, titles to be determined in consultation with the winners.

© Peter Rozovsky 2008

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32 Comments:

Blogger Vanda Symon said...

Going by the reliability of the public transport here, Random could sponsor our bus services.

June 14, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

What could the slogan be for that advertising campaign?

The Philadelphia-area transit system's police force has just gone on strike, so crime and public transit might make an appropriate combination here as well as in Brighton.

June 14, 2008  
Blogger 2KoP said...

Sue Grafton and Campbell's Chicken Alphabet Soup seems like a natural.

June 14, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Oh, I like that one. I'd say that places you strongly in the running for a prize.

June 14, 2008  
Blogger Vanda Symon said...

On a transport theme, Kathy Reichs with 'Fatal Voyage' could sponsor the ferry service.

June 14, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

2kop: Except who would be sponsoring whom? Sue Grafton could endorse Alphabet Soup, and I will take that as your entry in this competition -- an entry still in strong contention.

June 14, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Vanda, your suggestion sounds just the note I am looking for. Fatal Voyage and its publisher could also sponsor an airline.

June 14, 2008  
Blogger Philip said...

On the grand scale,Ruth Rendell could have had a nice arrangement with the White House these past eight years, some of her titles emblazoned on the exterior thereof: Some Lie and Some Die; A New Lease of Death; Going Wrong; A Judgement in Stone; Put on by Cunning; Talking to Strange Men; A Demon in My View; The Face of Trespass; The Secret House of Death.

June 14, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Remember those serial television commercials that used to be a big deal a few years ago, the one presented in stages that told a story? This one could have done the same for the White House, bracketed on one end by Put on by Cunning after the 2000 election and the other by A Demon in My View as the administration lurches to its end.

Secret House of Death is too good to pass up.

June 14, 2008  
Blogger GJG said...

Havn't downed my first jolt cola, and half asleep, but somewhere in the back of this old dudes head is a commercial tie in between, your better run prisons and say Hilton Hotels or Ritz-Carlton?? or better yet motel Six---"we'll leave a light on for ya"

June 14, 2008  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

The European Union could sponsor the publisher Eurocrime.
Three recent titles sum up the union's themes of control from Strasbourg [and Brusssels], corruption and uncontrolled immigration. ;o)

Lorraine Connection; Dominique Manotti
A Deal with the Devil: Martin Suter
The Serbian Dane: Leif Davidsen

June 14, 2008  
Blogger Linkmeister said...

Another transit-related idea would be the title you used for a recent post:

"The Taking of Pelham 123," followed by the bus/train timetables.

June 14, 2008  
Blogger Lauren said...

Not a public service, but I feel Dalgliesh and Wexford could market an excellent anti-aging cream between them, and Poirot and Maigret could market the product on the continent.

And surely Montalbano and Guido Brunetti would do sterling service alongside Jamie Oliver in the campaign for healthier school lunches.

June 14, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Lauren, I'd add Manuel Vazquez Montalban's Pepe Carvalho and his sidekick/cook Biscuter to your list. Montalbano is always taking his meals in the middle of the day, so he's a good sponsor for school lunches. For earlier in the day, those schoools that once served just breakfast can now welcome children to "Breakfast With Biscuter™, brought to you by the publishers of the fine line of Pepe Carvalho novels."

June 14, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Or the publisher could sponsor the European Union, following the American model of the government getting out of the business of serving the citizens. "This legislation has been brought to you by Euro Crime" has a ring to it, doesn't it? Or, as you might prefer to put it, "The Euro crime has been brought to you by ... "

June 14, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I like The Taking of Pelham One Two Three for a transit campaign in the same vein as the Fatal Voyage campaign suggested above.

June 14, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

It's not crime fiction, but the idea of Motel Six sponsoring prisons is a nice one. Thanks.

June 14, 2008  
Anonymous crimeficreader said...

I love Lauren's take on anti-ageing cream!

Having just spent a lot of the day on our UK motorways, I saw a lot of what looked like Panda cars, but the sides said "traffic patrol". This is a golden opportunity for UK author Chris Simms, whose novel White Lines is (very) originally set on the motorways. Then add stocks of his novels at the service stations. I'm sure his sales would increase!

June 14, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Oh my gosh, yes. That would bring in service stations as sponsors, too. There's even a line about "the white lines on the freeway" in a Joni Mitchell song, so there's the soundtrack for the radio, television and (yikes) cinema advertising.

June 14, 2008  
Blogger Patricia J. Hale said...

This is a great idea! (don't have any new ones to add at the moment) but thanks for bringing the car sponsorship to our attention.

June 14, 2008  
Blogger Patricia J. Hale said...

One more thing. We need to start having cars that size, but I can't help but smile trying to picture our Chicago cops getting out of that "cop car" and swaggering out.

June 14, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Thanks for the kind words. And I suppose cars that size are not quite the thing for the City of the Big Shoulders. Some of the larger Chicago officers might have to unzip a car that size rather than swagger out of it.

June 14, 2008  
Blogger Vanda Symon said...

Okay, more from me, because a) this is fun and b) it's a great way to procrastinate from writing.

Michael Connelly could sponsor the Medical Laboratory Services with 'Blood Work'. That would look good on the side of their little cars.

The Obituary section of the newspaper could be brought to you, with deepest sympathy, by 'Death du Jour' by Kathy Reichs.

June 15, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Oh, I like those, though I hope I don't delay your writing career too severely.

"This DNA test is brought to you by ... "

Perhaps "Death du Jour" could sponsor a contest in which the reader is asked to find the one obituary for which a cause of death is not listed ... and to determine the cause. Winner gets a copy of the book.

June 15, 2008  
Blogger Patricia J. Hale said...

Peter, it wasn't their waist lines you were suggesting, right? 'Cause you could get your butt kicked around here for that.

“No realistic, sane person goes around Chicago without protection.” Saul Bellow

June 15, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Not their waist lines, no. I meant their shoulders. Chicago is the city of the big shoulders and not, as far as I know, the city of the subcompact police cruisers.

June 15, 2008  
Blogger Patricia J. Hale said...

You could not be more right :-)

June 15, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

They might make good sense for some of the same reasons that bicycles do. Big-city police departments have been putting police on bicycles and even in-line skates in recent years for reasons of easier maneuverability on crowded city streets. Smaller cars might make sense for similar reasons.

June 15, 2008  
Blogger Linkmeister said...

Some PDs have even purchased Segways. I think Honolulu has tried a few, but I'm not sure whether they're still in use.

June 15, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Thanks for that. The Philadelphia department might be among them. My newspaper recently published a photo, I believe with a story, about cops on Segways. It might have been about Philadelphia's own PD.

June 15, 2008  
Anonymous Karen C said...

After recently finished Stuart MacBride's Flesh House - he could sponsor a chain of butchers. Or a tofu brand, whichever way the book sent you.

June 15, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Karen, without saying it in so many words, you have provided a clue to a salient plot point. This reminds me of the Dominion supermarket chain in my old home province, whose slogan was "It's mainly because of the meat."

June 15, 2008  

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